Cheever Lake State Preserve

712-330-2563

Cheever Lake is a 367-acre preserve featuring a large, shallow glacial lake with abundant aquatic vegetation. It is located two miles southwest of Estherville in Emmet County. The lake was mapped in 1857 as a “meandered lake,” meaning that the first federal surveyors had to walk around the lake to complete their demarcation of lands in the township to be opened to public sale. Surveyed uplands were quickly sold as farmland. Many meandered lakes were eventually sold as well and were promptly drained. Cheever Lake, however, remained part of the public domain in an undrained condition, eventually coming under control of the Iowa Conservation Commission. Today it is an outstanding example of an undrained natural lake. It was dedicated in 1978 as a biological and geological state preserve.